Policy Analyst Monica Montgomery wrote the November cover story for Arms Control Today about Congress using the war in Ukraine to falsely justify increased defense spending.
The Russian war on Ukraine has led to significant increases in U.S. defense spending this year in terms of direct war-related expenditures and the Pentagon’s base budget. Even before the war, however, the push to invest more in defense had been advancing with the backing of a majority in Congress concerned about rising threats from Russia and China. The conflict in Ukraine is certain to have a profound impact on this trend.
The areas of defense spending that need reevaluating in this new environment raise major questions with which Washington urgently needs to grapple. The challenge for lawmakers is clear. They must unlearn the ways in which defense spending has been determined in recent years, based on fuzzy strategies and bad-faith arguments by those who stand to benefit from a bloated defense budget, and relearn how to focus the spending on real security requirements and fixed goals. Read more